If you travel frequently, have limited desk space or just want more screen real-estate, a portable monitor is what you need. The same goes if you’re an avid gamer, have a profession that needs the use of multiple screens- like designing, editing, trading, etc.
Best Portable Monitor Overall – Asus Zenscreen MB16AMT 15.6
Best Budget Pick – Lepow 15.6 Portable Monitor
Best for Gaming – G-STORY 17.3″ HDR 120 Hz
Best for Laptop/Computer – ASUS ZenScreen MB16AC
Best 4k Monitor – G-STORY 15.6 Inch UHD 4K IPS Eye-Care
However, with so many options available today, how do you know which one is the best portable monitor for your needs?
Whether you’re looking for a portable monitor for your PC, laptop, gaming console, or smartphone, we’ve hand-picked the 12 top portable monitors for you.
Portable Monitor Reviews – Comparison
Top 12 Portable Monitors of 2021
1. GeChic 1303i 13.3-inch 1080p – Best Portable monitor for PS4
The GeChic 1303i is one of the most versatile options out there. It is USB-powered and offers both VGA and HDMI ports, plus an AUX port to connect external speakers or headphones. But you may not really need to use it that often as the monitor already comes with an excellent pair of speakers built-in.
GeChic used a high-quality Full HD IPS display viewable even in broad daylight, and whose panel can reach brightness as high as 250 nits. Granted, there are phones with 700 nits of brightness but let’s be real, you’re not really going to use your monitor in broad daylight.
- 10-point touchscreen input, which works great on Windows 10
- Capacitive display that can use a third-party stylus for more input precision
- A high-quality stand to position the monitor horizontally
- Full-size HDMI to Micro-HDMI cable and a 5V/2A adapter
- 10-point multi-touch input
- Case is included
- High-quality IPS Panel
- USB charging
- No USB-C Port
2. ViewSonic TD2430 24-inch 1080p – Best Portable USB Monitor
ViewSonic has been making monitors for over 30 years now with a proven track record of producing high-quality, long-lasting devices. The ViewSonic TD2430 monitor continues in the same vein, with its sturdy build quality and 3-year warranty.
It also has several ports that work with a PC, Mac, or any gaming console including last-gen gaming consoles.
The ViewSonic TD2430 uses a scratch-resistant glass and also supports 10-point input, making it lucrative for designers and creatives. When connected to a PC, you get a huge tablet that can be used for drawing, designing and playing games.
The freestanding table design lets you either position the monitor on the table, on a stand vertically or positions it horizontally. We tested it on Mac, PC as well as on the PS4 Pro and it worked great.
- 24-inch touch-enabled display well suited for productivity purposes
- Screen resolution of 1920x1080p
- HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort, USB 3.0 and VGA Input for connectivity
- Built-in stereo speakers provide a decent amount of punch.
- 3-year warranty
- 24-inch display for those who need more
- 10-point multi-touch input
- Good construction
- All the necessary ports
- Large size may not be for everyone
- Dull Design
3. GeChic 1503H 15.6-inch IPS 1080p Best Portable HDMI monitor
This is another excellent GeChic monitor designed to cater to the needs of people who are always on the go.
It weighs just 1.75lbs with a thickness of 1.1cm, making it very portable, plus it fits snug in a backpack, and consumes very little electricity.
It works great with a laptop, a desktop PC, Amazon Fire TV, PS4 and the Xbox One. We also tried it on the latest iMac Pro and it worked without any hiccups.
Despite its clean and minimalist design, the 1503H has a built-in stereo speaker that isn’t particularly loud and lacks bass. So if you want an immersive experience while consuming media, you’d have to connect to a better-sounding speaker for your enjoyment.
The GeChic 1503H reproduces very crisp images and it probably has one of the best 1080p IPS displays in this list. However, we found that the buttons on the monitor can behave unpredictably – often a tad too sensitive – sometimes unresponsive. Furthermore, the magnet arm, which sounds great in theory, isn’t exactly an ergonomically pleasant experience. It’s really strong plus pulling it tends to strain the arm itself.
It doesn’t have a particularly premium look and feel, as most of its parts are made of plastic, but GeChic seems to have done that on purpose. By using plastic instead of metal and other premium materials, the monitor weighs a lot less than others, making it that much more portable.
- 15.6-inch IPS display (1080p)
- USB-powered, with HDMI and VGA port for input
- Single USB C connection for power and video transmission
- Built-in speakers
- Very portable
- Excellent Viewing Angles
- Cheap looking design
4. ASUS MB16AC 15.6-Inch 1080p IPS – Portable External Monitor
For more than 5 months now, we’ve used this ASUS ZenScreen monitor, and while we can’t comment on its reliability in the long term, we can speak about its quality.
This monitor is worth every penny as it provides a truly portable experience since you don’t need any external power source, and it doesn’t need more cables.
It’s also color accurate and the viewing angles are wide, making it not only good for gaming, but also for media consumption.
The ZenScreen is made from high-quality material and the build quality feels premium. There’s definitely no cheap feeling plastic used in this one. And even then it weighs less than 2lbs.
If you go with this monitor, make sure that you get the proper driver. We initially installed an outdated driver on the Mac which led to skipped frames and slow response times.
- USB Type-C port powers the monitor and channels audio/video using a single cable
- 15.6-inch diagonal display that’s great for gaming
- Full HD resolution with IPS panel
- Integrated Asus Eye Care technology for flicker-free backlighting, and blue light filter protects eyes during extended gaming sessions
- Carrying case included (for portability and as monitor stand)
- Single USB C connection for power and video transmission
- Lots of features to reduce eye strain
- Superb portability
- Premium Design
- Priced competitively
- Needs USB-3 source for power
- May need proper drivers for Ubuntu and certain MacOS versions
5. Elecrow 11.6-Inch 1080p – Best HDMI Portable Monitor
If you are on a tight budget and need a portable monitor that meets all your needs, the Elecrow is a fantastic choice. The display may not be very large but it’s still a fine option for consuming media and playing games.
It has a very wide viewing angle and an excellent response time of 6ms. There’s also a built-in speaker which does a decent job of producing audio. However, for an immersive experience, we recommend you go with a dedicated speaker system.
It doesn’t come with fancy accessories like a sleeve or a hard case. Instead, you get a small metal bracket that holds the monitor in place.
The speaker is made from aluminum but doesn’t have a premium look and feel. But for its price, we can’t really complain. If you are not brand conscious and are looking for a product that works as intended, you should seriously consider the Elecrow monitor.
- 11.6-inch display
- Display resolution of 1920x1080p
- VGA, HDMI, headphone port
- VESA wall mount holes.
- The excellent response time of just 6ms
- Compact and highly portable
- Priced really well
- Full HD Video Output
- No carrying case in the box
- Limited accessories
6. Gechic On-Lap 1503I 15.6-inch – portable second screen for laptop
You can use this portable monitor for typing, drawing, digital document signing, small group presentation, gaming and a lot more. It’s one of the nicest displays out there with accurate color reproduction and wide viewing angles.
A well-constructed, protective cover is included that prevents your monitor from shattering in case of a drop.Be it for work or play, the Gechic On-Lap 1503l is a solid option and a good investment for the long term.
- 1080p touch-enabled Full HD IPS Display that allows 10 point Multi-Touch Input
- VGA and HDMI ports
- Wireless display options
- Detachable stand that allows you to place the monitor horizontally or vertically, and in varying degrees (52, 62, or 72).
- High-quality IPS Display
- Excellent viewing angles
- Compatible with a wide range of operating systems
- Touch-screen input
- Well-constructed protective case included
- Good sounding built-in speakers
7. ViewSonic VA2452SM_H2 24-inch 1080p LED Monitor
If you need a dual-monitor setup to take your home or office studio to the next level, the ViewSonic Dual Pack is the way to go.
You get two excellent monitors with minimal bezels and excellent build quality. It doesn’t come with any stand though, so you’d have to purchase a dual-monitor stand alongside it.
The product is rich in features with predefined settings and predefined modes including Game, Movie, Web, Text, and Mono. You also get a lot of connectivity option with these monitors like DisplayPort, DVI and VGA input options, but it lacks HDMI ports which can be a deal-breaker for some.
The image quality is really impressive, colors are accurate and you can use the monitor for video and photo editing purposes. Also, if you don’t like neutral color reproduction, you can manually define color profile to your liking.
- Two 1080p monitors
- 2 power cables, 2 VGA cables, and 2 Display Port Cables
- 3-year warranty on the monitors definitely sweetens the deal even further
- Flicker-Free Technology and Blue Light Filters to reduce eye strain and fatigue
- Priced well
- 3-year warranty
- Minimal Bezels
- Good screen response time
- Excellent construction
- Lacks HDMI port
- No stand included
8. 13.3-inch Quad-HD Portable Gaming Monitor
The EleDuino is a 2560x1600p (2K) priced under $200. From our inspection of the monitor, we found that it has a native 1080p resolution but uses some algorithm to up-res the images. As such, the display isn’t as crisp as native 2K monitors and is on par with the other 1080p monitors. From such an attractively-priced monitor, we don’t mind getting that performance as it offers bang for our bucks.
It uses a USB-C cable for both power and video, and an HDMI port that can be connected to your PS4 or Xbox One when gaming. It also gets a dedicated headphone port which can be used to plug-in a good pair of speakers.
Its viewing angles and colors aren’t as good as it uses TFT panels, but it can reach up to 300 nits of brightness, which is excellent, with 10ms response time for a lag-free experience.
During testing, we faced no lags or teardown of images. But light bleed from all the four corners was evident although in only dark scenes. Other than that, the monitor gets built-in speakers, which get surprisingly loud given its size.
- TFT panel
- 2560x1600p (2K) and native 1080p resolution
- Up to 300 nits of brightness
- Can get really bright
- Good screen response time
- Not a native 2K panel
9. ASUS MB168B 15.6-inch WXGA – portable touch screen monitor
The Asus MB168B is a budget portable monitor which works really well for gaming. But keep in mind that, it’s only compatible with Windows PCs and Mac Books, so you can’t use it with PlayStation 4 or Xbox One.
It uses a single USB 3 cable for both power and data transmission. But for some reason, both the PS4 and Xbox One don’t provide support for this monitor. It’s also one of the slimmest and lightest USB monitors, offering a carrying case which doubles as a stand.
The downside is it’s not a Full HD display so you won’t get the crispiest of images with this monitor, plus it doesn’t use IPS display, which impacts the viewing angle significantly. This alone can be a deal-breaker for some.
- 768p (HD) display
- TN panel
- Gyro-sensor to change the orientation of the screen as you rotate the display
- Blue light filter to reduce eye strain and fatigue
- Ambient light sensor to adjust the brightness based on surroundings
- Up to 300 nits of brightness
- Easy connectivity (USB)
- Blue light filter
- Ambient light sensor automatically adjusts the brightness
- 300 nits of brightness
- 3-year warranty
- Use of TN Panel
- 768p screen resolution
10. HP Pavilion 22xw 21.5-inch LED Monitor
While this monitor isn’t portable, it is one of the best in the market.
Packaged in a slim sleek matte-finished body, the device has minimal bezels which makes content consumption more immersive and enhances its appearance by a great deal. The LED backlighting on the monitor is also uniform and there’s no ghosting in any part of the display. The display may be tilted forward and backward for better viewing, but cannot be swiveled left or right, which can be a minor dampener.
Unfortunately, it lacks a speaker and headphone port, so you’d have to get a portable speaker if you want to enjoy an immersive sound experience.
If you are planning to make a home studio, I recommend you buy two of these. Thanks to the small bezels, you can have a really good looking dual-monitor setup without thick bezels between the two monitors.
For its price, this monitor is certainly worth every penny, and besides the missing headphone port, there’s really nothing more to complain about it.
- HP’s proprietary Enhance+ resolution technology to minimize motion blur and provide clear and crisp image output.
- Up to 250 nits brightness, and as low as 10 nits if you’re prone to eye fatigue
- 21.5-inch Full HD IPS Display
- Option of either using an HDMI or a VGA cable which supports HDCP
- 7ms response time, great for video consumption and gaming
- Minimal bezels
- Screen can go really dim
- Excellent 1080p output
- Priced well
- No headphone port
- No built-in speaker
11. GAEMS M155 Gaming Monitor
If you’re looking for an ultra-lightweight, high-performance, lag-free gaming monitor for consoles with a HDMI output, then the GAEMS M155 is what you need. Whether you’re a perennial home gamer, prefer challenging missions with your workmates, or like gaming on-the-go, this monitor is optimized for incredible console gaming. It also incorporates a compact LED design that offers a better entertainment or gaming experience.
This monitor comes with a protective cover that features a micro felt interior which not only prevents damage but also doubles as a stand for great viewing. You will also love the hinged anti-sleep fit which pop out to support your monitor for a 12 degree viewing angle. The monitor also features a 3.5 mm stereo jack that lets you listen to music or game audio with minimal disturbance to those nearby. We cannot also forget the 720p resolution that lets you experience games and videos in crisp and detail.
For convenience on the go, this monitor comes with a bag as well as all accessories. You can power it via USB or through the 100 – 240v Ac adapter.
- Can be powered via USB
- Built-in speakers
- Good resolution
- Multipurpose monitor
- Narrow viewing angle
- Comes with short USB and HDMI cables
- Glossy screen
12. Kenowa Portable HDMI Monitor
Gamers who need a high resolution and Apple users who are looking for a portable monitor offering exceptional screen performance would love the Kenowa portable monitor. This gadget is compatible with most gaming consoles including xbox one, pS3, ps4, xbox360, laptops, Macs, smartphones, and tablets.
This IPS monitor from Kenowa boasts a 1920x1080p resolution offering a wide viewing angle, accurate color production, and quick response time. With a concise design, this ultra-thin monitor weighs only 1000g for better portability. It also comes with a leather cover which protects the body and screen from scratches. Although its speakers are only 1.5W each, this is a feature you won’t find in most portable monitors.
- Nice and compact
- Comes with a leather cover to protect the body
- Great picture quality
- Changing the menu language can be difficult
- USB doesn’t provide sufficient power for audio to play
- Constant image freezing from iPad
GeChic 1303i – Editor’s Pick
GeChic 1303i is an excellent choice for a portable monitor that includes a premium design & an IPS display resolution that clocks in at a healthy 1920x1080p. It has a superior screen, with excellent color reproduction and brightness levels as high as 250 nits. For Windows 10 users, the Gechic 1303i offers a nifty 10-point multi-touch screen, plus HDMI, VGA, and Aux-In ports for connectivity. It also comes with an inbuilt speaker for avid travelers.
Q1. What is a USB powered monitor?
This is a monitor that you could easily connect to your main unit or display using a USB or HDMI cable. In most cases, a USB powered monitor is used as a secondary display by those who like split screens. They also feature next level portability for on-the-go users.
Q2. How do I use a USB monitor?
You could use a USB monitor by connecting it to your main display through a USB or HDMI cable. This way, you can mirror the main computer screen or extend it for a wider view. Although it is a common accessory for gamers, it could also be used by professionals to increase productivity while using their computers.
Q3. What is the difference between HDMI and USB?
Although HDMI and USB technologies have become a standard method of connecting computers, their respective uses are different. HDMI is a connection standard which carries both audio and video between a video output gadget and a display whereas USB carries virtually any type of data between a computer and any type of peripheral.
Q4. What is the best monitor connection?
Your choice of connection often depends on your monitor’s capabilities as well as the features you need. However, HDMI is always the best monitor connection because it is more versatile, sends high-definition audio and video signals, and supports HDR.
Q5. Can a tablet be used as a monitor?
Well, yes. You could use your tablet as an overflow screen or a touchscreen computer input. To accomplish this, however, you will need to install an application that will help you pair both devices.
Q6. How to Choose a Portable Monitor?
The portable monitor market is replete with lots of great options, so if you’re in the know and have prior experience buying monitors, there’s so much to gain from it. However, if you’re uninitiated in this domain, and are just starting out or don’t know much about portable monitors, you may face a heroic task having to distinguish between the choices available.
Q7. What’s the Best Screen Resolution for a Portable Monitor?
The screen resolution is the most important feature that you need to consider right off the bat. For portable monitors, the optimal screen resolution is Full HD (1080p), so anything lower than this won’t deliver crisp quality, and will look awful, especially since our eyes are accustomed to higher resolution displays on our phones.
Similarly, a resolution higher than 1080p may not be a good option if you’re working with a lean budget. But, even if you can afford the hefty price tags for such a monitor, it tends to drain battery life from the device powering it quickly. Also, higher resolution displays may not be that beneficial seeing as our eyes can’t distinguish 4K panels from Full HD especially in small portable displays.
Q8. What are the Different Kinds of Displays Used in Monitors?
The death of the cathode ray tubes (CRTs) paved way for LCDs, which are the only kind of screen displays left on the market. But what most people seem to overlook is that there are different kinds of LCD panels, of which IPS and TN are the most popular.
The IPS is common among most high-end monitors, while the TN is found in cheaper ones. The difference between the two is that while the IPS offers better color reproduction, accuracy, and viewing angles, the TN panels – despite their obvious handicaps – have a response time as low as 1ms making it better than most pricey IPS displays.
That doesn’t mean though that IPS displays don’t deliver in this area, because there are some good monitor models offering as low as 4ms response times, making them more adequate for gaming.
For avid gamers planning to use the monitor for media consumption, we recommend going with the IPS panel. TN panels may be cheaper, but compromise on improving screen response times.
Q9. What Ports do you Need in a Portable Monitor?
With phones losing the headphone jack and computers slowly getting rid of regular USB ports, it may seem like there aren’t any portable monitors with a variety of ports. On the contrary, there are several options with an excellent selection of ports, plus decent sounding stereo speakers.
The number of ports you need will be determined by your requirements, so if, for example you’re using the monitor on a device with all USB-C ports, you’re better off getting a portable monitor that supports USB-C input.
Be sure to check for a HDMI port, and extra ports like VGA, DVI, Display Port, and a headphone jack.
Q10. What’s the Best Size for a Portable Monitor?
The ideal size for a light and compact monitor which is easy to carry around is anywhere between 11.6-inches to 15.6-inches. Anything above that isn’t going to be portable, and anything below won’t deliver a satisfactory viewing experience.
Apart from size, check the ruggedness of the monitor. While most monitors are built with a hard case, a few budget options aren’t. If a case isn’t included in the box, make sure to purchase it separately as soon as possible to prevent breaking or any other mishaps.
GeChic 1504H – Best Gaming Portable Monitor
GeChic 1504H uniquely targets gaming lovers with travel passion. We were impressed by the varied selection of ports and excellent color reproduction this monitor offers, despite being pricey. Its design offers an IPS Full HD monitor, USB-C connector to connect it to gaming consoles with a single cable, and a host of other ports such as HDMI and VGA. A rear port connector is included that keeps wires hidden in the rear side of the monitor.
What’s more, the GeChic 1504H comes with a detachable stand which allows you to either position the monitor vertically or horizontally.
Asus ZenScreen Monitor – Best Portable Monitor for Laptop/Computer
Asus ZenScreen monitor is a specially made device for laptops. It is the winner of the Innovation Award in CES 2018 because of its features. One of the best features of the ZenScreen is the single USB-C port through which data is powered and transmitted between the monitor and the computer.
The 15.6-inch display produces accurate colors with the good response time. An inbuilt blue light filter which minimizes eye fatigue and preserves eye health in the long term. The IPS LCD Panel offers an excellent viewing angle and good outdoor visibility. If pure portability is your primary concern, this monitor is ultra-portable, weighing just 1.7 pounds and is only 0.3 inches thick.